Agile at Adlib

October 21, 2011

2 minute read

Adlib is embarking on the adventure of transitioning to Agile software development practices among our software development and quality control teams.

This large undertaking – working with an outside specialist – is to meet the following objectives in our company:

  • Predictability – knowing what features will be delivered when (on time, on scope, on budget
  • Quality –quality of products delivered (responsiveness: our ability to fix issues with confidence quickly)
  • Frequency –delivering value frequently
  • Communication –org-wide improvements, clarity, setting/meeting clear expectations
  • Risk Mitigation – faster time to market, easier course corrections, traceability, etc.
  • Team Scalability
  • Efficiency (cost, capacity, productivity)
  • Planning – focus on delivery of high value items
  • Prioritization of internally and externally driven features / bugs / enhancements
  • Structured backlog vetted through a clear process
  • Disclosure: ensuring all stakeholders have all relevant information in hand (Drives decision making, Sets clear expectations, Provides accountability

Agile Software DevelopmentOur Agile project team is made up of Adlib representatives from product management, quality control, QMS, and development, led by myself as project manager. Internally, we call it Project Rapid Fire.

One adaptation that we have made to standard Agile practices is that we have three ‘team roles’ that are rotated approximately every quarter:

1. Roadmap – comprised of 95% new user stories, 5% bug fixes

2. Maintenance – 75% bug fixes, 25% enhancements

3. Services/ Investigations – 25% services (structured per typical Agile), approximately 50% bug investigations and about 25% hot fixes (both unstructured)

Our pilot project consists of four “sprints” – the terminology used by Agile– and we are just at the end of Sprint 3; our teams are finding their groove, and we have already made real achievements!

If you are not “going Agile” – look into it – and get help. Transitioning requires a realistic plan, clear goals, good coaching (from a pro!), and a healthy business environment willing to invest in change to make future gains.  Challenging, but worth it!

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